DSSWA Agenda 2021-08-18

Update 2021-08-19: Packet and LAKE report @ DSSWA 2021-08-18.

The Deep South Solid Waste Authority (DSSWA) in some vague sense oversees the landfill in Lowndes County. As near as I can tell, it mostly disburses grants to its member counties and cities, derived from fees on the private landfill operator.

[DSSWA, Agenda]
DSSWA, Agenda

There is an online way to attend this meeting tonight. Contact:

Elizabeth Backe, AICP
Southern Georgia Regional Commission
Planning Director
1937 Carlton Adams Dr.
Valdosta, GA 31601
229-333-5277 ext. 146
ebacke@sgrc.us

DEEP SOUTH
REGIONAL MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY

Meeting of the Board of Directors
Deep South Regional Municipal Solid Waste Management Authority

August 18, 2021
6:00 PM
1937 Carlton Adams Dr.
Valdosta, Georgia

AGENDA

  1. Welcome and Introduction
  2. Minutes of April 21, 2021 Meeting
    • Draft attached for review and motion
  3. Financial Report Jan-June 2021
  4. Proposed Budget for FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022)
  5. City of Lakeland Grinding Reimbursement Request
  6. Other Business
  7. Adjourn

Next regular scheduled meeting will be on October 20, 2021 at 6 p.m.

Phone: (229) 333-5277
1937 Carlton Adams Dr.
Fax: (229) 333-5312
Valdosta, Georgia 31601

Videos: Water on private roads, ditches, transparency, Tourism Authority appointment, 3 rezonings, wetlands, solar, UPS, Lake Alapaha water treatment, body cameras @ LCC Regular 2021-08-10

Lowndes County apparently forgot to turn on the audio feed to the media corral in the back of the room during their August 10, 2021, Regular Session. Gretchen noticed during the 811 Day Proclamation and switched to the camera’s microphone, which was better than no audio. They did turn the audio feed back on during the approval of the Minutes.

The Lowndes County Commission has not videoed their own meetings for about a year now, despite authorizing $110,147.78 for Commission Chambers Audio and Visual Upgrade back in April with a report in July of expected total delivery in August. Meanwhile, the City of Valdosta livestreamed all their meetings during the pandemic with an iPhone.

The longest item by far at twelve minutes was 7.b. REZ-2021-12 US 84/I-75 Industrial Park – PD amendment for solar. After Attorney Jack Langdale spoke for, Gretchen Quarterman also spoke for.

REZ-2021-12 PD amendment for solar @ Lowndes County Commission 2021-09-10

Second was 10. Reports – County Manager, which includes some discussion about rural broadband funding.

Plus five Citizens Wishing to Be Heard, two about impassible private dirt roads, two others about drainage problems, and Brad Folsom: citizens request for more transparency.

It didn’t take a crystal ball to predict (as I did) that Wild Adventures Jon Vigue would be appointed to the Valdosta Lowndes Tourism Authority, since the last two appointees were also Wild Adventures GM.

Commissioners approved the 8.b. Alapaha Plantation Water Treatment Pilot Study, but there are murmurings that they are not going to do any subdivision water systems more like that.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of the preceding Monday morning Work Session, the agenda and the preceding Planning Commission meeting. The board packet, received after a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-08-09–lcc-packet

Videos: Deannexation + 2 Valdosta cases, 2 Lowndes County cases @ GLPC 2021-07-26

Here are LAKE videos of each agenda item of the Monday, July 26, 2021, Regular Session of the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC), followed by a LAKE video playlist. The big item was 5. VA-2021-16 (pt 1) Uvalde Land Co. Deannex 310 acres from the City of Valdosta.

Greater Lowndes Planning Commission 2021-07-26

See also the agenda and Deannexation east of Withlacoochee River linked to subdivision west @ GLPC 2021-07-26. LAKE videos of the following Lowndes County Commission and Valdosta City Council meetings will also be up soon.

Videos: Tourism Authority appointment, 3 rezonings, wetlands, solar, UPS, Lake Alapaha water treatment, body cameras @ LCC Work 2021-08-09

The longest item at fourteen and a half minutes was yet more public money to be spent on water for the private Lake Alapaha subdivision next to the Alapaha River, in the Lowndes County Commission Work Session yesterday, Monday morning, August 9, 2021. They vote 5:30 PM this evening, Tuesday evening, August 10. See also The never-ending Lake Alapaha Water Treatment Plant saga @ LCC 2021-08-10.

Lowndes County Commissioner Demarcus Marshall questioning more money for Lake Alapaha Water Treatment

The three rezonings also got 4, 5, and 7 minutes.

It’s an even safer bet they will appoint Wild Adventures General Manager Jonathan Vigue to the Tourism Authority.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda and the preceding Planning Commission meeting. The board packet, received after a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-08-09–lcc-packet

The never-ending Lake Alapaha Water Treatment Plant saga @ LCC 2021-08-10

Back in 2013 and 2014, Lowndes County spent at least $35,500 to “fix” the Lake Alapaha Water Treatment Plant, which had been getting notices of violation from GA-EPD since 2004. In 2018 the county spent another $16,915 to upgrade a water line for a private developer there. These are just the costs we know about.

Back in 2013 Commissioner Demarcus Marshall asked, “The water is good now, right?”

Well, apparently the water is not good, because here we are again, with a proposed $173,000 to fix the same plant. I have sent the county an open records request to get the two proposals and the corrective action plan by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and related correspondence.

At least this time the county did not do yet another no-bid contract to the same engineering firm that did not fix it seven years ago. Maybe this contractor can finally fix this seventeen-year problem. But that won’t fix the county’s chronic problem of assuming responsibility for private water wells for subdivisions.

Remember Lake Alapaha when you see the three rezonings on the agenda for voting Tuesday evening listed as having no “BUDGET IMPACT”, the same as every rezoning before them. Every subdivision affects the county’s budget, for water and sewer, or for roads, or for sending fire or Sheriff vehicles, or the school system’s budget for school busses, not to mention likely increases in flooding due to impervious surfaces. Yet Lowndes County never seems to mention any of that when considering a rezoning.

8.b. Alapaha Plantation Water Treatment Pilot Study

This is the kind of extra expense Valdosta avoided by sinking its water wells at Guest Road twice as deep after Withlacoochee River water was discovered reaching them from Shadrick Sink, on the other side of the Withlacoochee River, and the other side of what is now the Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank, recently sold to Uvalde Land Company, which wants to deannex half of it from Valdosta.

The Alapaha Water Treatment Plant is at 6328 Lake Alapaha Boulevard, Naylor, GA. Go east of Naylor on US 84, right into Lake Alapaha Hidden Cove subdivision, then on the right.

Your location will be on your right (No trespassing All violators will be prosecuted).

The agenda sheet for voting tomorrow evening at 5:30 PM says: Continue reading

Tourism Authority appointment, 3 rezonings, wetlands, solar, UPS, Lake Alapaha water treatment, body cameras @ LCC 2021-08-09

Update 2021-08-09: The never-ending Lake Alapaha Water Treatment Plant saga @ LCC 2021-08-10.

The biggest ticket item is yet more public money to be spent on water for the private Lake Alapaha subdivision next to the Alapaha River, in the Lowndes County Commission agenda for Monday morning, August 9, 2021, and voting Tuesday evening, August 10.

On the Tourism Authority appointment, Molly Deese succeeded the previous General Manager of Wild Adventures, so it’s a safe bet that the current GM, Jonathan Vigue, will succeed her on that Authority. But he’s got some competition with Rita Hightower of the Garden Center and The Crescent.

As usual, none of the three rezonings are counted as affecting the county budget, although all three will have long-term effects, two negative because of school buses and Fire and Sheriff Department calls, and one maybe positive because it’s for solar panels: REZ-2021-12 US 84/I-75 Industrial Park ~542 ac., County Utilities, I-S, M-1, M-2 and P-D (Amended).

[The three rezonings]
The three rezonings

Note the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determination that the remaining part of Val Del Villas off Val Del Road is not jurisdictional wetlands, so more houses can be built. Northside Property Development has the same registered agent as Uvalde Land Company that bought the Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank next to the Withlacoochee River and wants to deannex the upland half of it from Valdosta. The uplands in that Bank tract are not jurisdictional wetlands, either.

The other subdivision also involves wetlands, two creeks leading to Bay Branch and the Withlacoochee River, plus at least one retention pond: REZ-2021-09 Building Valdosta Subdivision (0070 018), R-A to R-21, Community Well & Septic, ~64.84 acres.

Cost What
$173,000.00Alapaha Plantation Water Treatment Pilot Study
$102,812.00Purchase of Body Cameras and Dash Cameras for Various Departments
$24,778.59Vertiv Service Contract for the Liebert UPS at the 911 Center & the 4 Tower Sites
$300,590.59Total

The $300 thousand total is a bit apples and oranges, since the cameras are for five years and the UPS is annual.

Here is the agenda. The board packet, received after a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-08-09–lcc-packet

See also the preceding Planning Commission meeting.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Deannexation of Cherry Creek Wetlands Mitigation Bank @ VCC 2021-08-05

The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission recommended 6-3 to deny the de-annexation of 310 acres of the Cherry Creek Wetlands Mitigation Bank. Thursday evening at 5:30 PM the Valdosta City Council decides.

[Map, Agenda]
Map, Agenda

Among other items on the agenda are Consideration of an Ordinance for Film Production in the City of Valdosta and Consideration of an appointment to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Citizens Advisory Committee. We don’t know who they are considering appointing.

AGENDA
REGULAR MEETING OF THE VALDOSTA CITY COUNCIL
5:30 PM Thursday, August 5, 2021
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL

  1. Opening Ceremonies
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation
    3. Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag
  2. Awards and Presentations
    1. Consideration of the August, 2021 Employee of the Month Award (Patrol Officer Jermaine Johnson, Valdosta Police Department).
  3. Minutes Approval
    1. The Minutes from the July 22, 2021 Regular Meeting are forthcoming.
  4. Public Hearings
    1. Consideration of an Ordinance for a Conditional Use Permit for a Car Wash and Quick Oil Change business in a Community-Commercial (C-C) Zoning District as
      requested by SHJ Construction Group (File No. CU-2021-03). The property is located at 3205 Inner Perimeter Road. The Planning Commission reviewed this at their July 26, 2021 Regular Meeting and recommended approval with four conditions (9-0 vote).

    2. Consideration of an Ordinance to rezone 0.59 acres from Single-Family Residential (R15) to Community-Commercial (C-C) as requested by SW North Valdosta, LLC (File No. VA-2021-15). The property is located at 3277 North Valdosta Road. The Planning Commission reviewed this at their July 26, 2021 Regular Meeting and recommended approval (9-0 Vote).

    3. Consideration of an Ordinance to deannex 310 acres from the City of Valdosta as
      requested by Uvalde Land Company (File No. VA-2021-16). The property is the City portion of the Cherry Creek Wetlands Mitigation Bank property which is located between the Withlacoochee River and the Cherry Creek residential neighborhoods. The Planning Commission reviewed this
      request at their July 26, 2021 Regular Meeting and recommended denial (6-3 Vote).

  5. Ordinances and Resolutions
    1. Consideration of an Ordinance for Film Production in the City of Valdosta. (First Reading)

    2. Consideration of a Resolution to approve an Amendment to the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System (GMEBS) Master Defined Benefit Retirement Plan.

  6. Bids, Contracts, Agreements and Expenditures
    1. Consideration of bids for 95 Gallon Roll Out Cart Containers for the Public Works Department (Bid No. 58-20-21 95).

  7. Local Funding and Requests
    1. Consideration of a request to declare two vehicles from the Valdosta Police Department as surplus property.

  8. Boards, Commissions, Authorities, and Advisory Committees
    1. Consideration of an appointment to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Citizens Advisory Committee.

  9. Citizens to be Heard

  10. City Manager’s Report
  11. Council Comments
  12. Adjournment

-jsq

Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!

Videos: Building Valdosta Subdivision and The Landings on Val Del Road, Moody AFB water & wastewater, Reports @ LCC Work 2021-07-12

Two weeks ago at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session, by far the longest item at almost seven minutes was 6.b. REZ-2021-09 Building Valdosta Subdivision (0070 018), R-A to R-21. It fronts on Val Del Road, but has no county water and sewer. Commissioner Scottie Orenstein wanted to know about the two creeks that run through it: see the notes below on the item.

6.d. REZ-2021-11 The Landings (PD Amendment), Val Del Road (0071 056) got two and a half minutes.

The County Manager Reports was almost as long.

The whole meeting still only took 23 minutes.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda, the board packet on the LAKE website due to a LAKE open records request, and the Minutes.


[Rezonings, Juvenile Justice, Moody AFB water & wastewater]
Rezonings, Juvenile Justice, Moody AFB water & wastewater

Videos: Bandit film, air conditioning, insolvent taxes, Fender Road Improvement Project, VLPRA @ LCC 2021-06-08

Just before adjournment, County Manager Paige Dukes said the Bandit film continued filming downtown. She answered Commissioners Demarcus Marshall and Mark Wisenbaker saying the new millage letters were going out, with the exemption for the new fire tax, At the June 8, 2021, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.

Everything passed unanimously.


[Chairman, Finance, Attorney, Griner, Manager, Audience]
Chairman, Finance, Attorney, Griner, Manager, Audience

The Minutes record the County Manager also said in Reports:

Mrs. Dukes stated staff will be meeting with our Southern Marketing Coordinator, with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Beth Meeks next week regarding a Farmer of the Year recognition. Additionally, Mrs. Dukes mentioned State Court Judge, John Edwards, was notified that Judge Melton has sent the last order extending the emergency order for the courts through June 30th. Lastly, Mrs. Dukes commended Mr. Tye’s leadership in providing a renewal of our ‘storm ready’ designation in Lowndes County; Mrs. Dukes asked Mr. Tye to give the commission an update. Chairman Slaughter stated this would not have happened without the partnerships with emergency management and thanked Mr. Tye for his efforts and dedication.

See also the LAKE videos of the preceding morning’s Work Session, and the agenda and the board packet.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. Continue reading

Beer, easement, insurance, mosquitos, prison work details @ LCC 2021-07-26

A million tax dollars for insurance and prison work details, discussed this morning, to be voted on Tuesday evening, by the Lowndes County Commission. Also an easement from Moody Air Force Base for Hightower Road and Cooper Road, and a beer and wine license for Cracker Barrel in Lake Park.

Cost What
$806,342.00 ACCG IRMA Property & Liability Insurance Program Renewal
$147,954.00 Annual Contract Renewal, Georgia Department of Corrections – Prison Work Details
$52,132.50 Annual Contract Renewal for Mosquito Identification and Testing
$1,006,428.50 Total

[Beer license, Moody AFB easement]
Beer license, Moody AFB easement

Here is the agenda. The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
https://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-07-26–lcc-packet

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JULY 26, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading